India trends 2023, according to Bacardi

India cocktail trends 2023 from Bacardi Japanese Highball made with Dewar’s Japanese Smooth blended Scotch whisky.

As the New Year rolls by, there is a spell of bottomless excitement, curiosity and zest for new experiences in the air. According to the latest Cocktail Trends Report 2023 by Bacardi, the same seems to hold true for this year’s drinking experiences as well!

With bold flavours and new cocktail occasions on consumers’ minds, a massive transition seems to be in the works for the alcohol industry. For India, which ranks as the number one market globally for whiskey, rum and brandy (IWSR 2021), these new-found tastes and preferences are surely going to make waves.

Jonas Ax, Advocacy Lead for Bacardi India says, “Insights from the latest Cocktails Trends Report by Bacardi reveal that an experimental fervor is brewing across the spirits industry this year, especially cocktails, with more consumers on the lookout for exciting and distinct drinking experiences.”

Whether it is by putting a modern twist to a traditional serve or simply enjoying a classic, cocktails are all set to make a comeback in many different colours and forms. “We are also anticipating a spike in demand for sustainable serves driven by an emerging class of conscious consumers,” Jonas adds.

Here are the top four macro trends that are going to be brewing across India’s cocktail culture in 2023.

Cocktail experiments

With more people turning away from the bitters of the hustle culture and instead, towards a life mixed with fun and experimentation – the demand for vibrant and colourful drinks will shoot up this year.

Fun flavours will be a big hit, with Daiquiri (37%), Margarita (37%) and Bloody Mary (34%) ranking among the most-ordered cocktails over 2022. The Cuban white rum minty mojitos and tangy Daiquiris are enticing choices.

Coming in a variety of variations – such as Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri, Pomegranate Mojito, Basil Watermelon Mojito and so on – these cocktails make for some of the hottest picks for the year ahead!

What’s more? Cocktails will get even more colourful this year, with 81% of bartenders projecting an uptick in the demand of aesthetic and colourful ‘Instagrammable’ cocktails.

With nearly two-thirds of consumers preferring to drink in the comfort of their homes, this year will surely be one pouring with all-new drinking occasions. Also expect to say ‘Cheers!’ to no-hassle, on-the-go sips. After all, 2023 is going to be the year of pre-batched cocktails and ready-to-drink beverages (RTDs), with 62% being confident about the boom of pre-batched cocktails and RTD offerings expected at a rate of 11.2% by 2030.

So, the next time you’re going for that convenient serve, head straight in for one of the many all-new RTD sips that are made with natural juices to create a deliciously fruity cocktail!

Transformed tastes

Indian consumers seem to be looking backwards as nostalgia continues to pervade the market across industries. Expect an exciting revival of things (and drinks!) from the past as classic cocktail choices get a makeover this year.

Whether through the addition of low-proof bitters or unexpected ingredients, cocktails are making a comeback already, as over half (58%) of bartenders express interest in classic cocktails with a twist, and more than a quarter get drawn towards cocktails such as Martini, Margarita, Negroni, Highball and Old Fashioned finds the Consumer Survey 2022 by Bacardi.

With vodka cocktails in demand, fix your friends a zesty pour with a signature vodka Martini cocktail, made best with 50ml of premium French vodka mixed with 10 ml of dry vermouth, topped off with orange bitters and a lemon twist for a quick and easy serve!

Sophisticated sips

Less is more has never been truer, especially for the spirits landscape! Concocted with quality ingredients that shine in simpler serves, premium spirits will continue to excite discerning consumers.

In fact, with 7 in 10 (72%) of bartenders, noting the rise of premiumisation within Tequila, followed by single malts, aged rum, and Mezcal, premium spirits are going to be in demand this year.

So, if you find yourself looking for that fine serve this year, there’s no better way to indulge in that ultimate smoothness than with a classic pour of Scotch whisky – particularly one that combines the Scottish and Japanese whisky-making traditions, making it the ultimate whisky to sip on the rocks!

With nearly half (45%) of Indian consumers considering it extremely important for them to drink cocktails that contain high-quality spirits and liquors, this demand for quality and craft is only going to strengthen in India.

Flavours are going to be a favourite as well, with nearly one-third (30%) consumers expressing intent to buy a drink driven purely by their curiosity about its flavours.

With half of the consumers (43%) set to order a Bloody Mary in the next 12 months in India, the emergence of spicier mixes seems imminent – stay ahead of the curve and take a shot at warming up your drink with spices with the Winter Daiquiri, made with premium, well-aged gold rum, and a couple of teaspoons of Demerara sugar dashed with cinnamon powder and lime for that perfect sip!

Conscious cocktails

Equally conscious as it is colourful, green might just be the colour of choice for many cocktail lovers across the globe. With more than half of consumers valuing recyclable packaging when buying their liquor, embrace yourselves as the spirits industry moves towards sustainable and mindful drinking.

In India, this trend is going to be even more pronounced, with 9 in 10 (89%) respondents wanting to spend more for spirit or liquor brands that stand for sustainability.

You too can lean into this movement with simple yet innovative substitutes like old flower petal or pulp garnishes to top off a classic serving of your favourite cocktails.

Mix up your own ideal summer-time serve, with notes of elderflower and orange built on a base of pink vermouth and top-shelf, English-made dry gin, choosing one that is sourced from 100% sustainably certified suppliers. Serve over ice to sip, savor and enjoy.

So what are you waiting for? Pick up your favorite flavor and concoct a mix of your own!